Small businesses may often ask themselves if they need a Lawyer?
Starting and building a successful business is both challenging and exciting. In addition to having a great product or service to offer, it’s important to have other key building blocks in place. Obtaining good legal advice from the beginning means you start off on the right track. A business lawyer can provide advice on issues ranging from your business structure to contracts and partnerships.
Here are just some of the ways a small business lawyer can save you time, money and stress.
There are advantages and disadvantages to whatever structure you decide, should that be a sole trader, partnership or limited company. Impartial advice on which is best for you can give you peace of mind. You might have considered starting off as a sole trader and then incorporating as a company once your profits really start to increase. However, there can be legal and tax implications with this. In some cases, it may be more beneficial to just incorporate straight away. A lawyer can give you tailored advice to your specific needs and future plans.
Legally binding contracts save you time and money. Investing in a lawyer to prepare your contracts means you’re less likely to miss things that could cause you serious problems down the line. Whilst you can find template contracts online, these don’t come with instructions and aren’t specific to your needs. Your contracts also need to include what will happen if anything goes wrong, for example, if your client doesn’t pay on time. Small business lawyers with experience in dealing with startups can also help wiith NDAs, agreements between partners, shareholders and employment contracts.
GDPR is a set of rules outlining how customers’ personal information can and cannot be used by businesses. Your business might collect customers’ names and addresses, and how you handle this information (and communicate how you handle it) is vital. The penalty for non compliance is up to 4% of your turnover. Having a lawyer for advice surrounding this gives you peace of mind that your business is compliant, and asking your lawyer to review your data protection procedures ensures that you keep up to date with any changes to the law, even if you have always previously been compliant.
Selling Your Business
Many founders plan to build their business up and sell it for a profit. Whether you sell all or some of your shares in a business, a business lawyer can offer you advice on how to get the best deal. This process will include transferring ownership and reviewing the articles of association and shareholders’ agreement. Your lawyer can advise on your shares, assets, liabilities, taxes, due diligence and act as a go- between for you and other parties involved in any deal. An experienced startup lawyer can also provide guidance on the big question… how should you value your company?
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